Remains found on Mount St. Helens are Japanese hiker

STEVENSON — Human remains found on Mount St. Helens have been identified as those of a 27-year-old Japanese hiker reported missing last November after indicating he planned to climb the southwest Washington volcano, the Skamania County sheriff’s office said Monday.

The Clark County medical examiner’s office identified the remains found Aug. 9 as those of Yosuke Onishi, Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox said. The remains were found near the 7,100-foot level on the south slope of the mountain.

No cause of death has yet been determined. Cox said once the Skamania County coroner receives the medical examiner’s reports, it is possible the coroner can make that determination.

Onishi was reported missing last Nov. 27 after failing to return to the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar, Washington, to pick up his personal effects. Onishi reportedly left the resort that morning with a plan to summit the volcano, Cox said.

His remains were found west of the normal south climbing route Cox said. Personal items found nearby were consistent with what the man reportedly had with him when he left the resort.

A renewed search effort earlier this month involved 13 different agencies from Washington and Oregon. The area where the body was found had been flown over several times during initial searches but Cox said it’s likely that snow hid Onishi then.

Onishi was from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

Mount St. Helens’ crater rim summit stands at 8,365 feet.

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